Elon Musk is being sued by Tesla shareholders, who accuse him of fraud. In defense, the businessman said he believed his tweets had no effect on Tesla’s stock price.
Formerly the richest man in the world and the second most followed account on Twitter, with more than 125 million followers: Elon Musk is what you would call an influential person. His social network posts are still shared by thousands of people, and he can single-handedly boost the value of a cryptocurrency like Dogecoin.
However, the businessman does not seem to know his power, as he declared in a hearing on January 20, 2023. He is currently on trial with Tesla shareholders, who accused him of fraud and they lost millions of dollars because in a tweet, Elon Musk justified himself in a surprising way: for him, no one listens to him on Twitter.
A suit for fraud
The tweet in question dates back to 2018. At the time, Elon Musk explained ” think about buying a Tesla which is a public company listed on the stock exchange, by purchasing shares at 420 dollars per unit. The acquisition represents a huge amount to unlock, but the billionaire specified that the ” funds are secured “.
Immediately after this message was published, Tesla stock prices rose, and everything could have ended well. However, it was later revealed that Elon Musk’s funding was not secured – and Tesla’s stock fell sharply. The American financial police sentenced him to a fine of several million dollars for this tweet, and forced him to give up his position as chairman of the board of directors of Tesla (he remains CEO, however).
But the story of this tweet is not over yet. The trial of Elon Musk, accused of defrauding the company’s shareholders, began on Friday January 20 in San Francisco, and may have new consequences for the businessman.
” Just because I tweet something doesn’t mean people are going to believe me »
On the first day of the trial, Elon Musk spoke for about half an hour, according to Gizmodo, defending himself by explaining that he ” absurd to suggest that his tweets could have an impact on Tesla’s stock price. ” Just because I tweet something doesn’t mean people will believe me, or do what I say. “, he declared.
According to him, the best example of this is the posting of a tweet, in which he said that he thought that Tesla’s stock price was too high. As a result of this message, the company’s stock price went up, not down. For him, therefore, nothing will be causal link between his tweets and Tesla’s stock price – though other observers may note that he has an effect on the stock price.
Another important piece of information to note from this first hearing: Elon Musk continued to post messages on Twitter, despite the advice of his advisors. The Verge reports that Antonio Gracias, a former Tesla board member, investor Ron Baron, and Sam Teller, a close associate of Musk, have all asked him to stop tweeting. ” I guess I keep tweeting, yeah said Elon Musk, when asked if he ignored their suggestion.
Despite the warnings, and the constant testing, it seems that Elon Musk still hasn’t learned from his mistakes. On December 28, Elon Musk caused Tesla to lose 11% of its value with a tweet, after responding to Dimitri Medvedev, the former president of Russia, that he found his tweets ” epic “. His passion for Twitter may continue to cost him dearly.
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